Self-awareness, affect regulation, and relatedness - Differential sequels of childhood versus adult victimization experiences

Department of Psychiatry, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 07/2007; 195(6):497-503. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31803044e2
Source: PubMed


This study examined abuse and trauma exposure as it predicted identity problems, affect dysregulation, and relational disturbance in 620 individuals from the general population. Multivariate analyses indicated that maternal (but not paternal) emotional abuse was uniquely associated with elevations on all 7 scales of the Inventory of Altered Self-Capacities (IASC): Interpersonal Conflicts, Idealization-Disillusionment, Abandonment Concerns, Identity Impairment, Susceptibility to Influence, Affect Dysregulation, and Tension Reduction Activities. Low paternal (but not low maternal) emotional support was associated with Interpersonal Conflicts, Abandonment Concerns, and Tension Reduction Behaviors. Paternal emotional support did not significantly decrease the negative effects of maternal emotional abuse. Sexual abuse was predictive of all IASC scales except for Interpersonal Conflicts and Identity Impairment. Noninterpersonal traumas and adult traumas were typically unrelated to IASC scales. Childhood emotional and sexual maltreatment--perhaps especially maternal emotional abuse--may be critical factors in the development of disturbed self-capacities.

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Available from: John Briere, Sep 17, 2015
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    • "In examining trauma exposure as a predictor of selfawareness , affect deregulation, and relational disturbance , Briere and Rickards (2007) studied 620 children who suffered from emotional and physical abuse in the State of Florida. Results of this study indicated that trauma exposure was associated negatively with selfawareness , affect deregulation and relational disturbance. "

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    • "They may be more likely to struggle with managing interpersonal difficulties and thus might develop negative views of others, themselves, and their value in relationships (Godbout, Dutton, Lussier, & Sabourin, 2009; Pearlman, 2003). Empirical data indicate that survivors are more likely than non-survivors to report interpersonal conflicts (Briere & Rickards, 2007), difficulties in forming and maintaining close relationships (Davis et al., 2001; Pearlman & Courtois, 2005), and involvment in distressing relationships (Messman-Moore & Coates, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The empirical literature indicates that childhood emotional abuse (CEA) produces long lasting impairments in interpersonal relatedness and identity, often referred to as self-capacities. CEA has also been shown to negatively impact couple functioning. This study examined the role of identity and interpersonal conflicts in mediating the relationship between CEA and women's report of couple adjustment among 184 French Canadian women from the general population. Path analysis revealed that CEA was related to poorer couple adjustment through its impact on dysfunctional self-capacities and the experience of greater conflicts in relationships. Findings highlight the importance of assessing CEA to better explain couple adjustment in women with relationship difficulties and provide potential intervention targets based on the self-capacities framework. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Child abuse & neglect
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    • "Given these findings, a reasonable question is whether at least some of the relationship between CSA and negative outcomes is mediated by self-capacity disturbance; in other words, whether CSA may lead to self-disturbance, which, in turn, influences whether certain psychological difficulties will occur. This mediation has in fact been found for a number of psychosocial problems (Allen, 2011; Briere et al., 2010; Dietrich, 2007; Palesh, Classen, Field, Kraemer, & Spiegel, 2007). Not yet demonstrated, however, is whether the relationship between CSA and subsequent sexual difficulties may occur in the context of self-capacity disturbance. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research indicates that childhood sexual abuse (CSA) produces lasting alterations in interpersonal relatedness, identity, and affect regulation, often referred to as self-capacity disturbance. CSA also has been shown to negatively impact sexual functioning. This study examined the role of altered self-capacities in mediating the relationship between CSA and sexual responses. Path analysis revealed that CSA was related to sexual anxiety and decreased sexual satisfaction through its association with reduced self-awareness and a propensity to be involved in difficult interpersonal relationships.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Child Sexual Abuse
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